Future Tense French Explained Once and for All
French Future Tense can be confusing but not when you know the right way to use it in sentences. Use this guide and become a pro in using Future Tense.
7 November 2019
French Grammar French Lessons
Future Tense French Explained Once and for All
Moreover, there is nothing cumbersome about learning French future tense. Let us get started with a definition of the Future tense.
Definition: The future tense is a verb tense that is used to narrate something that will happen in the future or something that will eventually turn out true.
How to use Future Tense in English
Words like will and shall placed before the verb are used to identify the future tense. The short form ” ‘ll ” is also used.
- I shall go to the market.
- How will you work?
- We’ll plan it later.
English also uses the progressive forms of the future tense known as the future progressive tense. It indicates what will be happening in the future. The tense is made by adding ‘will’ or ‘shall’ & ‘be’ along with the present participle of the verb.
- What will you be working on then?
- I’ll be working on my science project.
- He will be mowing his lawn.
A prefix, ‘going to’ is also used before the verb to say something that will happen in the near future.
- I am going to sleep.
- He is going to enjoy the water park.
How to use Future Tense in French
There is no “will” or “shall,” like English, in French, to indicate the occurrence of a future event. However, the ending of the verb is changed to make a word that depicts the future tense.
Similarly to English, the present tense is also used for narrating any future event that would happen.
- Je dîne avec le patron à 8 heures. (I’m having dinner with a boss at 8.)
Just like English, the words ‘going to’ are also used in French to tell about something that will happen in the future. In French, the verb aller is added before a verb.
Examples: vous allez
- Vous allez échouer si vous n’étudiez pas. (You’re going to fail if you do not study.)
- Il va manquer la classe. (He’s going to miss the class.)
Points To Remember While Speaking Future Tense in French
You must note the following things about Future Tense while speaking in French:
1. When making simple statements or informal speech, you must use the present tense to state anything that is going to happen in the future. Aller is added before the verb for this purpose. This can also be done by adding the commonly used verb aller.
Example: je vais le finir (I’m going to finish it.)
2. However, when talking formally, usually, the future tense is used.
4. The future tense is also used while making polite requests.
5. The French future tense is commonly used with a few words, including demain (tomorrow), ce soir (tonight), le week-end prochain (next weekend), etc.
Future Tense Making Rules
1. The format of most verbs in the future tense include – the infinitive form of the verb + an ending like the present tense of avoir (have) – -ai,-as,-a,-ons,-ez,-ont.
2. The base of the sentence is a “future stem”, a word similar to the infinitive verb + an ending according to the subject.
Some examples: faire (to do), dormir (to sleep), etc.
|Pronoun||Ending||Add to “future stem.”||What it means|
|je (j’)||-ai||je mangerai||I will eat|
|tu||-as||tu mangeras||you will eat|
|-a||il/elle/on mangera||he/she/it/one eat|
|nous||-ons||nous mangerons||we will eat|
|vous||-ez||vous mangerez||you will eat|
|-ont||ils/elles mangeront||they will eat|
Let make it easy by dividing the rules into 3:
1. Rules for regular verbs ending with -er and -ir
2. Rules for regular verbs ending with -re
3. Rules for irregular verbs
Regular Verbs Rules Ending With -er and -ir
The rule is simple, take the infinitive form of verb plus the correct ending. Examples are such as the ones used above for dormir.
In case of the future stem of regular -er verbs the spelling may change:
Verbs which end with –eler and –eter, the alphabets ‘t’& ‘l’ are doubled, and pronunciation changes from ‘uhr‘ to ‘eh.’ Example: rejeter becomes rejetter, while appeler becomesappeller.
Regular Verbs Rules Ending with -re
The thumb rule for these kinds of verbs is- removing last letter ‘e’ + appropriate ending. For example, vendre becomes vends or vendons.
Irregular Verb Rules
There are some words in French that do not abide by the rules. Such irregular verbs also have a different set of rules for the French future tense. More than twenty verbs fall in the category of irregular future stems. Some common irregular verbs in French Future tense are Avoir, être, faire, aller, etc.
Hope this guide helps you understand Future tense in French easily and efficiently. For any guidance or help, you may connect to our French tutors.